Friday, May 26, 2017

Sundaikaai Podi/Turkey Berry Rice mix powder

Rice mix podi's and thogayals(chutney's) are indigenous part of south-indian kitchen. Rice mix podi's(powder's are life-savers in many house-holds. Bored to cook, wife gone for vacation, no mood to cook for one, these podi's come for our rescue. I have quite a list of podi's in my kitchen and i m never bored of trying a new one. Somewhere in the net, i came across dried neem flower podi, that gave me the idea for sundaikaai/turkey berry powder. 
I had salted turkey berry and so i haven't added any salt to the final podi. If you are using unsalted berry, then add salt accordingly.
Ingredients
1/4 cup urad dal
3 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 cup dried turkey berry (salted ones)
3/4 cup dried coconut powder*
10-12 red chilies
*If the berries are not salted,please add salt to the condiment 
Method
  • Heat a wide pan, dry roast each ingredient except salt(if adding) separately. All the ingredients must be golden brown in color. Keep the flame simmer and roast. 
  • After roasting, let the ingredients cool completely. Take the roasted ingredients in a mixer jar and grind it to a coarse powder. 
To make mixed rice 
Ingredients
1 cup of cooked rice
2 tbsp of sundaikaai podi/Turkey berry powder
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp each urad dal and chana dal
1 red chili

Method
  • Heat a tbsp of oil in a tadka pan, spluter mustard seeds, add chana dal and urad dal and red chili.
  • Pour the sizzling tadka over a 1 cup of steaming hot rice, mix 2 tbsp of powder to it and mix well. Serve hot with some crisps by side.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cucumber Mint Cooler

I can't get enough of summer coolers! I m making a new one everyday and enjoying the flavors. Today's drink, cucumber-mint cooler, i remember having this drink in a restaurant. Loved the taste and tried recreating it at home. Voila loved it! It might not be the exact same what they served in the restaurant, but it was a close match. I once made it for a gathering too, it came out good. 
There is always a trial and error in balancing the taste of the drink, i prefer my drinks to have a bit strong taste of lime/lemon. Some might not prefer it that way. If you are in the later half, then start with half the quantity of lemon juice given here and increase accordingly. 
Ingredients (serves 1)
1 small lebanese cucumber
10-12 nos fresh mint leaves
juice of half a lime
a pinch of black salt
1-2 tsp sugar
200 ml sparkling water or soda, chilled
ice cubes, mint leaves and lemon wedges to garnish
Method

  • Wash and chop the cucumber roughly. Take it along with mint leaves and sugar in a small blender jar. Blitz it to puree.
  • Add this to serving glass, top it with sparkling water, black salt and lime juice. Garnish with mint leaves, lemon wedges and serve immediately.
  • I have made it using both club soda and sparkling water. The glass with froth is made using club soda. Personally i prefer sparkling water. If you want your drink to be smooth, then strain the juice before serving.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kuluki Sharbath/Kuluki Sarbath - Spiced shaken lemonade

The toughest theme in our Blogging Marathon, is the bookmarks theme! Duh! As a foodie, anything that catches your eyes and thrills your senses, you bookmark it, pin it, yum it! This happens almost every day, every hour! Thanks to FB intelligent feeds and google intelligent algorithms, they identify our pattern so well, our feeds are filled with 1 minute food videos, which is  also getting saved and FB reminds me, every now and then, you have so many unopened saves!!
To choose 3 posts from that huge bookmark ocean is such a pain, my mind was like a kid in a candy store, but with a strict mommy by my side!
Finally i chose 1 for today's post, i haven't decided what i m going to make tomorrow and the day after, let us cross the bridge when it comes.  
So, going to today's recipe, the word kuluki is the reason i m dragged to this recipe, yeah, like that word kuluki, meaning shaken, like how a bartender shakes the drink!
It was interesting to read the story how the sharbath became so popular in God's Own country - Kerala.  Few tourists, taught a street vendor shaji - fondly called shajika how to make this sharbath and he sold it for just 5 rs and that simple drink became a rage. Do check this page and read about the sharbath that shook the world
It is a simple lemonade recipe, some recipes i came across in the net,  use basil seeds,and some don't. I don't claim mine to be an authentic kuluki sharbath. I love the basil seeds in the lemonade, so i have added them. Also the chili and ginger adds a nice zing to the drink , if you don't prefer the slight tinge of spice, omit them. It is a fantastic drink to enjoy on a summer day.
Ingredients
juice of one large lemon (approximately 2-3 tbsp of lemon juice)
2 cups of ice cold water
2-3 tbsp of sugar/honey/agave
1 tsp sabja seeds/basil seeds
1/2 tsp freshly shredded ginger, optional
1/2 a green chili, finely chopped, optional
a dash of salt and pepper
Ice cubes and lemon rinds for serving
Method
  • Soak sabja seeds/basil seeds in 2-3 tbsp water for 10 minutes. It will absorb the liquid and swell up beautifully.
  • In a large pitcher, add lemon juice, flowered basil seeds, 1.5 cups of cold water, add shredded ginger, chopped chili, sugar, salt and pepper and shake to mix well. i used my immersion blender jar with lid for spill-proof shake.
  • Taste the lemonade, adjust water according to your taste. The chili and ginger adds a nice a flavor, but if you don't prefer avoid them.
  • To serve, fill tall glasses with lemonade, add a lemon wedge, few ice cube and serve it chill.

Check out this delicious Shikanji , if lemonade's are your favorites
Shikanji

Monday, May 22, 2017

7 Fresh juices/Mocktails to keep you hydrated this summer

It is just May and we are already feeling the heat. Sun at morning 9 am is so hot, i can't imagine how it will be around noon. The moment i enter home after my yoga, i want to drink something cold and soak myself in a tub full of water. The later is though unimaginable, the former is definitely 100% possible.
To avoid myself buying juices off the grocery shop shelves, i try to make fresh juice before leaving for my workout, so when i return i have something to quench my thirst. I know eating fresh fruit is more healthy than juicing, but then in this heat, all you want is to drink! Like fresh fruit and veggies which are regular part of our meal, fresh juices too has become one.
You might think, why am i glorifying juices here? it is because, i have always made smoothies, milk smoothies, yogurt smoothies,so for me to come out of my comfort zone and try some drink that is not dairy base, feels awesome.
Here is a list of 7 different Fruit juices (mocktails) to keep you refreshed this summer. Make them part of your suhoor/iftar meal for a healthy start this ramadan. 
And last but never the least
Fresh Grape Mocktail, the best i ever made.
http://www.icampinmykitchen.com/2017/05/fresh-grape-mocktail.html

Friday, May 19, 2017

Peach and Pineapple Coconut Water Popsicle

How come no Popsicle for a summer cooler theme? Popsicle brings a wave of nostalgic memories,  sucking a orange kuchi ice(popsicle) from the ice-carts outside school gate, is such fun. We were never given any pocket money while growing up, it will be like once in a blue moon we get few coins, we guard them like gems to spend during occasional outings with our friends. 
kuchi ice is a must whenever we come  to the beach, after playing endlessly in the water and sand walking towards one of the many carts and searching  through  the menu and buying a orange or a mango stick is customary. Never knew making one is very simple, today I bring you a zesty, tangy popsicle.

 Today's  recipe is one which i made few weeks before, when i had some fresh pineapples which were a bit tart for us to snack, so i decided to blend it with some peaches and make this zesty popiscle. Instead of water or milk, i chose to blend it with coconut water, do not miss the lime juice in the recipe, it adds a amazing flavor. You can even add some crushed fresh mint to take it a notch higher. 

Ingredients (makes 8-10 popsicles)
2 well-ripend peaches
4-5 rings of pineapple
300 ml tender coconut water
3-4 tbsp of sugar (optional)
juice of a lime

Method
  • Wash and remove the pit from the peaches, chop it roughly. Chop the pineapple rings roughly.  Take them in a blender add coconut water, lime juice, sugar and blend smooth.
  • Pour the juice into  Popsicle moulds and freeze 6-8 hours. To serve, just run the mould under cold water, to remove the popsicle and enjoy.

 

This is for Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by Amara, themed on Summer Coolers



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fresh Grape Mocktail - Summer Cooler, Zero Sugar Mixed fruit juice

Some recipes happen as you make, this mocktail is one such recipe. I had a big bowl of fresh grapes, usually i clean and wash the grapes and leave it on the dining table for us to snack. Usually my lil one, likes seedless grapes, but all of a sudden he doesn't want to touch them and my elder one runs a mile when i offer him a fruit.  So this grapes bowl is sitting simply in the refrigerator for the past one week. 
Last weekend, we had a small meet up with our friends for lunch. I normally make some lassi/panagam to serve as a welcome drink, and since it is hot these days, i decided to make some fresh juice. I took the grapes out, juiced them first, then saw the oranges, squeezed them into the grapes, then added a squeeze of lime. All mixed and strained, it tasted just awesome. 
That too zero sugar and a gorgeous color. My lil one just loved the drink. Today while i was clicking the pics, he came and reserved the small bottle for himself. This mocktail can be made 3-4 hours ahead to save the kitchen time. Try this for your next party and let me know how you liked it!! :)
Ingredients (serves 5-6)
4 cups seedless red grapes
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of a lime
2 cups of ice cold water
Method
  • Take the grapes in a large bowl. Add 1.5 cups of cold water to it and using an immersion blender, blend it to juice.
  • It won't be a smooth juice, to this add orange juice and lime juice. I just squeezed the orange with my hand into the grape juice. Do not bother about the seeds, you will be straining the juice, anyway. After adding the other two juices, mix it well with a ladle.
  • Strain the juice through a strainer. Add another 1/2 cup of water to the strained pulp and squeeze the juice well. Refrigerate the juice for 30 minutes and serve it chilled.
This is for Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by Amara, themed on Summer Coolers

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mango Mastani - Pune famous Mango Mastani

Mastani, the name brings a kick with it, isn't? Mango mastani, yummilicious drink of mangoes topped with ice-cream and served with nuts garnished, i have watched this mastani in many blogs and have literally drooled over it! I chose the theme : summer coolers, thinking of Mastani!
Let us know a little bit about the drink before learning how to make it. Mastani is a famous drink from Pune in India, land of Peshwa's and the Maratha's. A place that still preserves its cultural heritage and history with its mighty forts and food of-course.
While searching for the root of mastani, i came across some articles and videos on the Web, thanks to my curiosity, i still love to learn about food and its origin. 
One of them says, it is named after the legendary Peshwa ruler Bajirao's Love, gorgeous Mastani and the drink too is such a beauty so, it is named after her. 
Other story says, when it is served, the first thought that hits your mind is how 'mast' it is, meaning how awesome it is, hence the name mastani. 
True to its name, it is one of the easiest, most deliciously looking and tasting drink ever. And with mango season in full glory, you should definitely try making this.  
If you are interested to read about the article here it is Story Behind Mastani. Here is the video how they make it. I love the way they crush the fruit straight in the glass and top it with fresh milk, wish someday i can visit pune and taste this awesome drink. For now enjoy making it at home! 
Ingredients (serves 2 tall glasses or  4 small glasses)
3 well ripened mangoes
1 cup chilled milk
3-4 tbsp sugar (optional)
Mango ice-cream as needed (2 small scoops/person)
Few chopped nuts for garnish
(i have used almonds and pistachios)

Method
  • Wash and chop the mangoes, remove the pulp. Take the pulp in a blender, add chilled milk, sugar and blend smooth.
  • Pour the smoothie in tall glasses till 3/4th of the glass, top it with mango ice-cream, garnish generously with nuts and serve immediately. 
This is for Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by Amara, themed on Summer Coolers

Friday, May 12, 2017

Loukoumades - Greek Honey Doughtnuts

I was in a big dilemma for the last recipe on the Greek cuisine theme. I couldn't decide between Lagana bread, Halva and this honey doughnuts.  The lazy me chose the easiest honey doughnuts. A no knead dough, rested for an hour, in my case a day in the fridge and then deep fried and served with lots of honey syrup and nuts on top.
I have a love for doughnuts, who doesn't? I have some delicious doughnuts from around the world like this Yemeni Bakhmir, Croatian Krafne, Persian Bamieh, Somalian Puff puff the list is long. These loukoumades are another addition to that long list. 
I made them as our weekend treat. Hubby relished it straight from the pan, loved the taste of it. Do not miss the cinnamon powder, it gives a nice kick to the dessert. If you want to make it vegan, try drizzling chocolate sauce instead of honey syrup. I know chocolate would make it all the more better.

Ingredients (Makes around 25-30)
1 cup whole wheat flour/All purpose flour
1 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
crushed walnuts for garnish
oil for deep frying the doughnuts

For the syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Method
  • In a large bowl, add flour, yeast, sugar and salt, whisk well to combine. To this add warm milk and warm water and using a fork mix well to form a sticky dough. The dough should be well hydrated, so if you feel the dough is dry, feel free to add 2 tbsp of warm water. Do not add more water at the same time, then it will be a batter
  • Let the dough sit for an hour on the kitchen counter and the yeast works it magic. After an hour, the dough will be well puffed up and ready for the doughnuts.
  • When the dough is resting, make the syrup. Heat water in a sauce pan, when it is hot, take it off the stove, add honey and cinnamon powder and mix well. Do not heat honey, it might turn toxic. 
  • Heat oil in a deep-pan, when it is hot enough, wet your hands and take small portions of the dough and drop it in the hot oil.
  • The dough will be very sticky, if you don;t wet your hands, it will be a mess. If you don't want to use your hands, then use a wet spoon to drop the dough balls.
  • Once dropped in oil, do not disturb the balls immediately. Let it cook for a minute and start holding that round shape, then using a slotted spoon, turn the balls to cook even.
  • Cook the doughnuts in a medium flame to golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon on a kitchen towel
  • To serve, place 5-6 warm doughnuts on a serving plate, drizzle a generous portion of honey syrup on top, garnish with walnuts. Serve warm to enjoy the flavors.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#76


Want to know the other doughnuts 
 Berliner
Berliner


Thursday, May 11, 2017

RevithioSoupo/Greek Chickpea Soup - Vegan

The second recipe i did from Greek cuisine is this revithia/chickpea soup. Soups and salads are my go to options during weekdays, mainly for dinner. So, i m always happy to find varieties for our dinner meal. This soup has very less ingredients, no fancy sauces or dressing. 
That is the main reason i chose this soup, when i checked the recipe, there was no heat in the recipe, i was a little skeptical,whether it will be good just with oregano and fresh herbs. But trust me, it tastes amazing. 
The addition of lime juice and a dash of pepper takes the soup to another level. Add herbs at the end to enjoy the freshness. 
I served this soup and Bulgur salad for dinner last week and we enjoyed both, what we missed was a slice of crusty bread, if you can pair with some delicious toast then it will be a complete meal.

Inspired from The Greek Vegan
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (i used canned chickpeas)
2 sticks of celery
1 medium-sized carrot  (chopped celery and carrots were about 1.5 cups)
1 medium-sized onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
juice of a lime
Pepper and salt, to taste
2 tsp oil

To thicken the soup
1 tsp of flour mixed with 2-3 tbsp of soup liquid
Method

  • If using dried chickpeas, then soak it for atleast 6-8 hours and cook it with double the amount of water until soft. Since i used canned chickpeas, i skipped the step. If using canned like me, then drain the liquid, wash the chickpeas in running water and set aside.
  • Now let us the get the veggies ready, chop the onions fine, chop celery and carrots into small cubes or thin strips.
  • Heat a sauce-pan with oil, add chopped onions, bay leaf to it. Saute until onions get translucent. Next add chopped celery and carrots. Add 1/4 cup of water and let this cook for 5 minutes. 
  • Now add drained chickpeas to this and 2 cups of water. Add salt and oregano and let it come to boil and cook for 10-12 minutes. 
  • Check the consistency of the soup, it is generally a bit runny, if you prefer it to be little thick, then mix flour and soup liquid and make a slurry and add this in thin stream to the soup,mix well and let it cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  • Before removing from heat, add chopped herbs, lime juice to the soup, take it off and let it sit for 5 minutes for the herbs to mingle well. Serve it hot with a dash of pepper on top.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#76

Some more soup recipes for my kitchen


Barley & Vegetable Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup
Ginger & Lemon Soup
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